Fortune News | Sep 30,2021
The Addis Abeba City Administration is undergoing an extensive reshuffling leading the number of bureaus and offices down to 45. It is the second administrative restructuring attempted in the capital over the past three years when the city's offices dropped to 71.
The latest redeployment of civil servants is based on a regulation city councillors approved late last year, a month after the formation of Mayor Adanech Abiebie's cabinet.
The Public Service & Human Resource Development Bureau, under Hikman Hayreddin, oversee the restructuring. Previously served as the administrator of Halaba Zone in the Southern Regional State, Hikman took the helm at the Bureau, replacing Hailu Lulie, who headed the Bureau for three years.
She had served as head of the bureau for women and children's affairs of the Southern Regional State before 2018.
Hikman and her colleagues have introduced an evaluation system to determine personnel assignments.
Unlike redeployments at the federal level, the city does not require civil servants to sit for examinations. The regulation allows candidates to compete for posts after fulfilling academic requirements. However, a merit-based rating system of periodic evaluations decides whether they should get the jobs. The ability to execute plans and work ethics account for 70pc of the points under the system, while records make up five percent. The remaining points are awarded based on supervisors' assessments.
Chala Abdessa, a public administration lecturer at Addis Abeba University, was involved in the restructuring implemented three years ago. He believes a merit-based evaluation system is helpful as it allows civil servants to compete for placements.
“The system focuses on recent performances rather than depending on educational background," said Chala.
The Bureau under Hikman has thus far streamlined the restructuring of 22 agencies under the city administration. Reforming the remaining agencies will be completed in the next budget year, according to Hailu Abebe, an official at the Public Service Bureau.
The Construction Permit & Control Authority on Equatorial Guinea St. (between Hayahulet Mazoria and Megenagna) is where a change occurred. Headed by Setotaw Akale, the Authority has been split into two segments: central and administrative. Several of its 220 employees have been competing for senior placements over the last four months. Close to a fifth of the workforce was running for director and team leader positions, with 22 landing the jobs.
A few employees who used to hold top positions but were relegated to professional placements have put forward complaints to a selection committee.
“The complaints were properly addressed,” said Mulugeta Ligedi, a committee member, who is also a director of construction permits. “All the employees have been redeployed.”
However, close to 90 placements at the Authority remain vacant, expected to be filled from other agencies under the city administration but remain unassigned.
Chala says that restructuring should not be seen as a goal of its own.
“It's a tool to achieve organisational objectives," he said.
The Land Development & Administration Bureau has also completed the restructuring and reshuffling process. With 304 staff, the Bureau has recently been the focus of attention due to alleged corruption and illicit land transfers in the capital. A study conducted by the City Administration last year uncovered that 383hct of land designated to be transferred to the city's land bank was instead in the hands of individuals. Last February, officials reclaimed the title deeds for 671 plots deemed to be held unlawfully.
Before Hikman took the helm, the city's Public Service & Human Resource Development Bureau carried out reshuffling based on a regulation the city council has yet to ratify. Many of the Bureau's district-level staff were redeployed to other agencies. However, senior officials were forced to rescind the reshuffling after judges at the Federal High Court ordered the employees to be reinstated to their former positions.
The latest attempt at restructuring has seen three agencies in land-related services folded into the Land Bureau at a directorate level.
“It's essential to put all land-related services under one roof,” said Kahlid Nesreddin, head of the Bureau.
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